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Shopping for a new pair of work boots can be a challenge. A boot may look good, but if it doesn’t wear comfortably throughout a full workday, it’s no good at all. However, it is possible to recognize quality boots just by looking at them—you just need to know what to look for.
The best work boots for men incorporate durable materials, a simple design, and sturdy construction. Full-grain leather uppers are the standard for quality boots. Top grain leather, genuine leather, and nylon are found in less-durable boots. Work boots may incorporate any number of comfort and safety features. One of the most common safety features of work boots is steel or composite safety toes, which provide protection against falling objects. Another common work boot feature is ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), a synthetic polymer similar to rubber, which gives insoles shock resistance. Rubber and TPU (polyurethane) outsoles provide resistance to chemicals, oil, electricity, and high temperatures. Both cemented (“direct-attached”) and stitched (“welted”) soles offer comfort and durability.
The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) is a third-party organization that certifies work boots for safety based on testing standards. Test categories include impact and compression resistance, electrical hazard resistance, static dissipation, slip resistance, puncture resistance, and metatarsal resistance. ASTM ratings give shoppers peace of mind that products actually do what they claim. Many employers require employees to wear protective boots with specific ratings.
This guide highlights several outstanding work boots that wear well and are safety-proven. Read on to find the best work boots for your needs with the help of this list of top picks.
Our Top Picks
This list features some of the best work boots for men while taking into account quality, comfort, durability, and safety features. Each product is a top performer in its category.
The Wolverine Men’s Raider Work Boot is a great all-around boot for those who work in environments where steel toe protection is not required. The upper is made of premium full-grain leather. The lining is made with a moisture-managing mesh layer. A full cushion insole plus PU midsole provides all-day comfort. Comfort Welt construction bonds the upper to the sole for superior durability and flexibility. The rubber lug outsole is slip-, oil-, and abrasion-resistant.
Overall, this boot checks all the boxes for great brand reputation, high-quality materials, durability, comfort, and basic safety. It does not have a steel or composite safety toe, and it is not a waterproof boot. After the initial break-in period, users can extend the life of the leather by treating it periodically with leather conditioner or boot oil.
The Caterpillar Men’s Outline Work ST Work Boot is made with premium full-grain leather. It comes with several safety features, including a steel toe, electrical hazard protection, and slip resistance for all-day protection. The speed lacing system is fast, snug, and convenient. This boot is available in five different colors: Black, Dark Gull Gray, Seal Brown, Honey Reset, and Honey.
The ASTM rating (F2413-11 I/75 C/75) for the steel toe means it will protect against impact and compression. The built-in electrical hazard protection is rated ASTM F2413-05 1/75 EH to protect against open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions. The T1260 rubber provides slip-resistance on low friction surfaces. The Caterpillar Men’s Outline Work ST Work Boot includes a nylon mesh lining with microfiber and a removable EVA footbed for greater comfort.
The Timberland PRO Work Boot is built for standing and working long days in all kinds of weather. These boots are made with waterproof leather and seam-sealed during manufacturing. They incorporate a layer of 400g Thermolite insulation for added warmth, and they are lined with antimicrobial mesh for breathability and odor control. Direct-attach soles mold to the shape of the foot. The open-cell polyurethane footbed, lightweight thermal plastic midsole, nylon shock diffusion plate, and thick non-marking rubber outsole provide outstanding cushioning, flexibility, and stability. The steel safety toe resists compression and impact. An 8-inch upper gives proper ankle support.
This is an excellent outdoor work boot for cold weather. It offers safety protections in a steel toe plus an anti-slip sole while providing loads of comfort.
The Thorogood American Heritage Safety Toe Boot is a rugged and attractive boot with a moc-toe style that is as suitable for the office as the shop floor. Full-grain tobacco oil-tanned leather allows the feet to breathe. A removable ultimate shock absorption footbed on a Poron comfort cushion insole provides incredible comfort for long days standing and walking on hard floors. The steel toe and slip-resistant MAXWear wedge outsole increases the safety of the workplace. Durable Goodyear storm welt construction creates a strong and long-lasting boot that will hold up for years of dependable wear.
This boot is non-waterproof and unlined. It is comfortable, highly functional, and ultra-durable for indoor work and occasional outdoor work in fair weather. It’s an excellent choice for warehouse and shop workers. Sizes tend to run narrow. The tough full-grain leather may have a longer break-in period than some other boots.
Keen Men’s Utility Lansing Work Boots are lightweight, waterproof, and breathable for long days outdoors in all kinds of weather. A proprietary membrane built into the lining of the leather upper keeps feet dry while allowing excess heat and moisture to escape. A removable dual-density EVA footbed, compression-molded EVA midsole, and TPU shank provide the right combination of cushion and support for lasting comfort. The asymmetrical left and right steel safety toes fit better than standard steel toes, allowing for a greater range of motion.
These boots are also loaded with safety features. The safety toe is ASTM-rated for protection against impacts and compression. The outsole is rated for non-slip standards, plus puncture resistance, metatarsal resistance, and electrical hazard protection. The boot is covered from heel to toe with highly reflective webbing for greater visibility.
The Ariat Men’s Groundbreaker pull-on work boot is made of full-grain leather around the foot, with a suede upper. These boots feature a four-layer footbed for cushioning, a lightweight shank for support, and a Duratread outsole for grip and maximum wear resistance. The extra-comfortable insole provides excellent cushioning with high rebound. The heavy-duty rubber sole is oil and slip-resistant.
Ariat boots were founded to provide the best boots for equestrian athletes. This is a basic, dependable soft-toe boot that is not waterproof. It is a great choice for those working indoors or outdoors in fair weather. The benefit of pull-on boots is that they are fast and easy to change, which makes them popular for a wide range of activities. The Groundbreaker is also available with a steel toe and waterproofing, which would expand its function for other occupations.
The Carhartt Men’s Waterproof Insulated PAC Boot is made of oil-tanned, polyurethane-coated leather with a waterproof, breathable liner for superior protection against snowmelt and standing water. A superior insulation provides added warmth. A non-metallic composite safety toe protects against impacts and compression without making the boot feel cold. The TPU heel guard with Achilles flex joint provides ankle stability as well as side-impact and heel protection.
These boots are designed to be completely waterproof and are insulated to keep feet warm and dry in most cold, wet conditions. They are ASTM-rated for safety toe and electrical hazard standards.
The Irish Setter Wingshooter Work Boot is made with waterproof full-grain leather uppers and welted rubber soles for daily comfort and long-term durability. Built-in safety features include a non-metallic composite safety toe and electrical hazard protection that meet ASTM safety standards. The heat- and slip-resistant wedge-shaped sole is made with rubber EVA traction tread for a steady grip.
These boots are built for superior comfort and support on the job. They are made with pliable leather for a quick break-in period. The thick wedge-shaped sole, lightweight insole, and polyurethane footbed provide a comfortable amount of cushion and a high level of stability. The waterproof leather upper combined with a moisture-managing liner keeps water out and wicks excess moisture away from the feet. This is an excellent general-purpose outdoor work boot for spring, summer, and fall.